It is tougher to make foreign policy now than it was when the Soviet Union was a world power? Please comment.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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We can certainly argue that it is harder to make foreign policy today than it was during the Cold War.  We can say that it is more complicated, even if it is perhaps less dangerous.

On the one hand, foreign policy was difficult in the Cold War.  It was necessary to figure out some way to contain communism.  However, at the same time, it was necessary to do so without setting off a nuclear war with the Soviets.  This was not always easy.

However, things were in some ways simpler.  During the Cold War, we only really had one thing to worry about: the spread of Soviet-led communism.  Today, we have many more issues that occupy us.  Now, we need to figure out how to deal with Muslim militants.  We have to determine how to try to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons.  We have to decide how to treat newly democratized governments in the Arab world who do not really like us.  We have to figure out how to deal with the rise of China.

Looked at in this way, things were easier when there was only one problem to focus on (even if it was a big and dangerous problem).

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